Danner, Richard Emanuel (1907-1982)

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Richard Emanuel Danner: retailer and bishop, was born 23 November 1907 in Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania, USA to John Solomon Danner (18 June 1876-30 December 1949) and Ida Belle Whisler Danner (18 November 1871-18 April 1951). Richard was an only child. On 29 March 1929 Richard Danner married Annie Elizabeth Ness (18 July 1909-28 August 1986). Richard and Annie had three daughters and two sons. Richard Danner died 25 July 1982; Richard and Annie Danner are buried in the Bairs Hanover Cemetery.

Richard Danner spent his entire life in the Hanover, Pennsylvania area. His only education was in local one- and two-room schools. As a young man he worked for the J. C. Penny Company. Later he operated a grocery store, a truck farm (after his ordination as bishop), and a hosiery business, much of the latter by mail.

Richard was converted at a series of Noah Mack revival meetings in Hanover in December 1917. Mack baptized Richard, and officiated at his wedding, as well as his ordinations as minister on 2 December 1930 and as bishop for the York and Adams County District of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference on 11 June 1935.

After his ordination as bishop, Richard Danner was used widely throughout the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. He conducted 47 different series of revival meetings from 1935 to 1945. He helped with bishop duties outside his district on numerous occasions. He served on the examining committee of the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions from 1947-1964 and served as Assistant Secretary of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference from 1949 to 1971.

Richard Danner did not agree with changes in the Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s revised Rules and Discipline that was adopted in 1968. However, unlike the five bishops who withdrew to form the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church, Danner initially worked to maintain a conservative presence in the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in his York and Adams County bishop district through adherence to the earlier 1954 Rules and Discipline that more explicitly regulated dress and social behavior of members and forbade media like television.

Danner’s attempt was not successful, and in 1975 Richard Danner and 13 other ordained ministers and deacons from his district, including his son James, asked to be released to form the independent Conservative Mennonite Churches of York and Adams Counties. This release was granted.

Richard Danner continued to provide leadership to the group until he suffered a heart attack in 1978. He took part in church work as his health permitted until his death in 1982.


Auker, Michael. “Richard Danner (1907-1982).” The Historical Journal 16, no. 2 (October 2010): 4.

“Danner, Walter J.” York Daily Record & York Dispatch (2 May 2014). Reproduced in MennObits. Lazarus Project 2014 C-F." Web. 21 February 2019. http://mcusa-archives.org/mennobits/Lazarus/2014/LP%202014%20C-F.html#dwj0523.

“Richard Emanuel Danner.” SAGA (Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association) Genealogical Website. Web. 21 February 2019.

Ruth, John L. The Earth is the Lord's: a narrative history of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2001: 940, 1114-1115.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published February 2019

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MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Danner, Richard Emanuel (1907-1982)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2019. Web. 18 Sep 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Danner,_Richard_Emanuel_(1907-1982)&oldid=164899.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (February 2019). Danner, Richard Emanuel (1907-1982). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Danner,_Richard_Emanuel_(1907-1982)&oldid=164899.

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